"Now I keep hearing all this fol-de-rol about bringing the fifty-two ostriches home. Why, I've seen ostriches in the zoo and, believe you me, they're nothing but big dirty smelly chickens. I never in all my born days—"
"It's hostages. Not ostriches. Hostages."
"Hostages? Oh. That's very different...Never mind."
—popular witticism from the historical period
It was like this: Sgt. Spikey's mom, Mae Bell Wamsutter, had told Sgt. Spikey that his cousin Shannon's mom (Sgt. Spikey's aunt) had told Sgt. Spikey's mom that cousin Shannon had said that Sam, the big fat weird bearded man whose face Spikey had bashed in, was a very talented professional ghostwriter genius who was going to get hitched up with Shannon one day soon because they loved each other very much.
(A touching, sweet creature, thought Sam, a bare-naked guileless little brown berry baby. That's howcome she was being so nice to me: she knew I was going to be rich soon due to her diplomatic efforts!)
Now, Spikey was evidently so greedy inside that he'd been planning all along to exploit his own unfortunate experience and that of fifty-one other American hostages during those fourteen long months in "Eye-ran," to cash in on America's morbid curiosity. And Spikey knew, as all stupidfucks know deep in their hearts, that if he was going to say anything he'd better get somebody to say it for him.
(Shannon would pipe up at this point and say,"But, Sammy, why do you have to think of him as a stupidfuck? Why rate people by their smartness? Why can't you just be a democracy, um, person?")
Spikey was dimly able to see the appeal of keeping the paltry ghostwriting fee "in the family," so to speak. And, of course, Shanny was his favorite—she was everybody's favorite. So, the sarge had decided to grant another audience to his future bro-in-law after all. He had decided, moreover, magnanimously to forget Sam's comment about the you-know-what of Babylon.
Besides, Shannon had told her Auntie Mae Bell about how badly the big weird man's nose was hurt. ("He may have to undergo amputation!" she'd cried over the phone.) So the Marine hero, at the moment, was expected to feel kinda sorry: he was not currently defending his nation in some overseas hellhole; he was in the USA now, and was supposed to try to act like a sane human being.
He'd actually been trying to kill Sam by driving the bridge of his fat nose up through the base of his brain's frontal lobes. But the angle had unfortunately been off a bit. Sgt. Spikey wasn't used to killing such tall people with that particular method. The sand-nigger political prisoners whom the Shah's secret police had allowed the Marines to practice on had all been at least a foot and a half shorter.
At one point Sam wondered whether Spikey might just be jacking him off, trying to placate him momentarily, with no intention of serious negotiation. Spikey might have been worried that his victim had gone back to Kanorado to nurse not only a broken nose, but also a personal injury lawsuit.
But no lawyer alive would be asinine enough to go up before a midwestern judge with an action against one of the Fifty-Two Great American Heroes. It Spikey had been smart and devious enough to anticipate Sam's legal options, surely he would've continued the train of thought until he arrived at that realization.
At least that's what Sam's Dallas lawyer pal said when he called to ask about suing the murderous little prick.